Monday, December 31, 2007

The 2007 "Come to the Table" Highlights

Here is one of my favorite posts from each month in 2007. It was good to look back over the past year and read what I had been thinking and experiencing. I am so thankful to the Lord for His goodness and grace in my life.

January Too often I find myself relating to the mother in this cute yet smelly story:...

February I have felt a bit weepy this past week. It is both a physical weariness and a heaviness I have on my heart over many things. Some of the heaviness is for others and what they are facing and the rest is my mother's heart...

March As a young bride at twenty two, married to the man who had prayed for me at the tender age of fifteen, I had a very limited understanding of what God's design for marriage was. I knew I was to "leave" and "cleave" and that we were "one flesh", but beyond this, I began a life hoping to find joy and fulfilment only to discover that I struggled deeply within myself....

April As I gaze at my husband’s face, I see the reflection of my mother in law in his life, her gentle touch, her warm embrace and her love for God and His word. But I also see the smile of another woman who laid her hands on her belly and thanked God for her unborn child...

May As a newly married twenty two year old young woman never did I imagine those two things happening at the same time in my life or better yet on the same day. Never!...

June It was a wonderfully overcast Southern California June morning in 1986 when we took our vows to love and cherish each other....

July A dear friend sent me an email yesterday and this was the final paragraph. It was like she was standing in my home watching. Her words described the scene so well....

August The first day of school is slowly ticking away and I am trying real hard to think about what our new routine will look like since I admitted that I was sooo ready for one. But even though, I must say that first day of school good-byes always leave a lump in my throat. They did eleven years ago when my oldest started school and this morning was no different....

September I give thanks to the Lord when life is a bit uneventful. Today in the midst of my laundry folding, dust bunny chasing, and bathroom scrubbing, I pause to praise God for redemption....

October For six or seven years, this was entirely true of me. Then one day, when I found myself on the couch in the middle of the day (for the second week in a row) and I wasn't sick, just exhausted, it was time to take inventory...

November This morning I woke up early. Earlier than I would have liked. I couldn't sleep any longer....

December We have lots of snow!! It makes this Christmas season so sweet. This is a picture taken from my back door. The kids have been out playing in it almost everyday after school. My favorite is the untouched snow. I did not grow up with snow, so it is still very fun for me....

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Joy to the World

Please stop by over at the cafe today and shout with me "JOY TO THE WORLD!" We have a great reason to celebrate!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

Monday morning we were greeted with "frosted" trees. They are so beautiful. I couldn't help myself but go out and take some photos in my neighborhood.

Friday, December 14, 2007


We have lots of snow!! It makes this Christmas season so sweet. This is a picture taken from my back door. The kids have been out playing in it almost everyday after school. My favorite is the untouched snow. I did not grow up with snow, so it is still very fun for me.
Snow reminds me of forgiveness. Christmas time is one of those places or seasons in our life where expectations can literally drive us from thing to thing or place to place. Often times how we approach this time of year and what we do is based on what others expect rather than on what we know we should be doing or shouldn't be doing. We place unnecessary demands on ourselves!! Maybe even our good intentions are a bit unrealistic and ideal. Because in the midst of planning and making Christmas memories, we still have everyday life happening all around us.
I am doing a little self-talk to myself this morning. I have had some good intentions and great ideas, but have yet to accomplish everything. The last couple of nights there have been interruptions, others who have needed things, kids not feeling 100 percent etc.. But what message do I want to communicate to others and especially my children. The message is that God became flesh, left his heavenly throne to become a living sacrifice for our sins. There is so much about the Christmas message that I desire for my kids to understand. Not the pretty decorations, gifts, baking, parties and so on. The message of love is what I want them to see. God loved them so much that He was was willing to give up so much in order for us to be reconciled unto Himself.
My kids won't remember in a few years whether or not the cookies were decorated just so or even if there were bows on their gifts, but they will remember if mom was a little uptight and short with them in the midst of the Christmas season. Like yesterday!! I was trying to finish something and all (it couldn't of been just one) of my children were in the room and I used a tone that I was not proud of to express my frustration. It wasn't just the tone but the body language and everything that comes with it. And the worse part was that the offense did not deserve it or even come close to this type of reaction. Immediately, the Lord convicted me and as I looked about the room filled with Christmas decorations and the sight of Christmas planning all around me, it made me want to take back my tone and everything that went with it, in lieu of everything around me. No amount of physical beauty in the home can replace the atmosphere that a mother or father brings.
Last night I asked for forgiveness and then I went to bed. I knew I was tired! Today, I am looking at the beauty of the untouched snow and the picture of God 's love and forgiveness it reflects for my own life and I am more and more thankful for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Join me at the Cafe today....

This morning as I sat quietly in my favorite chair with only the light from a lamp on the table and a little bit of sunrise peering in through the window, I read Luke Chapter One from beginning to end and as usual I always have to stop at verse 38 and think about Mary's amazing response to the angel of the Lord, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." .......To hear my thoughts about this amazing verse, please join me at CWO's Internet Cafe today.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Soup's On!

It's A Soup-Tacular!

I love soup. No, I really LOOOOVE soup! My all time favorite is a really good Clam Chowder. I have yet to find a good recipe for one, so if you have one please let me know. Another favorite is TORTILLA SOUP This is a favorite with my family and friends.

Tortilla Soup

1 Tbs. butter
1 yellow onion chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small can green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes
(I puree the tomatoes in the blender since my husband doesn't care for pieces of tomatoes in his soup)
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded chicken
2 Tbs. Taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:
sour cream
shredeed jack and or mild cheddar cheese
sour cream

Saute onions and garlic in butter in a large pot over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chilies, tomatoes, beans, corn, chicken stock, chicken, and taco seasoning. Stir through on high heat until soup boils. Reduce to low. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer one hour.

Serve with sour cream, a handful of cheese, and place broken pieces of tortilla strips on top. Makes eight servings.


Today you are three! You brighten my day each and every day. Two wasn't so bad. I have to admit, I wish it wasn't over. Between legos and cars, you are forever by my side. Somewhere within my mother's heart I want to keep you little and snuggle you in my arms for many days to come. That is probably why I am accepting of your babbling and simple vocabulary. You have given me a complete lecture in some unknown language. I am not worried in the least. I know once the words start flowing they usually don't stop.

So, today I look forward to your smile when we sing, the bounce in your step, the moment when we sit down to pray and you insist that you pray (every time, every meal, every night) and the big "amen" at the end. It is a good thing that your sisters and brothers are so understanding.

Some things I don't want to forget. The joy in your voice and body when daddy walks through the door. Eee-o! The name you so affectionately call your brother (Theo). The way you walk and the wiggle when you run.

Happy 3rd Birthday Coleman!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Open House

Next week I am hosting a Christmas Coffee Open House at my home for the ladies in our church. My hope is that ladies who are new to our church or who have been attending for awhile and may not have had a chance to meet other ladies will come and make some new friends. Or that some of the ladies who work and care for their families might be able to take a few minutes and stop by for some much needed fellowship. I am offering two different time slots one in the morning and one in the evening in hopes that everyone would be able to join us. Yes, I know we could of set up a huge coffee at the church and planned a two hour event in which everyone showed up at the same time, (nothing wrong with this idea) but I felt strangely impressed this year to make it simple, unassuming, and inviting. My only prayer is that no one will stay away in fear of coming to a strange home.

As I have been busily preparing my home in the midst of our day to day lives and routine I have been thinking alot about the idea of opening up my home. My first thought is that it could give the impression that the only reason I am doing this is to "showcase" my home. Which is the opposite of my whole reason for doing this...simplicity. I even felt compelled at one moment while setting out some of my snowmen I have had for years to run out and buy some new things. And then I thought if this was the reason for someone stopping by they would be greatly disappointed. Yes, my home is decorated, and some may consider it elaborate depending on your taste and style, while others may consider it plain and simple. My point is that it really does not matter. My hope is that no one comes to just see my home, but rather to see those who will be in attendance.

A couple of ladies came up to me this past weekend and told me that they were looking forward to coming. One lady told me I was so brave for doing this. Another lady thanked me for doing this. I have given some thought to these comments. I am fully aware as women we put alot of pressure on ourselves to perform. We would never call it that, but most of the time the expectations we have are those we have inflicted on ourselves. My home is just that, "my home". It is a dwelling place for my family. We live here. I would NEVER ever want it to be a place for show. Yes, I like my home to look nice...we all do. Our homes should be comfortable and a place that is warm and welcoming first to our husbands and children, never to what others think or expect. Oh, if I had only understood this when I was first married. The many opportunities I missed out on to invite others into my home out of fear that they would think differently of me.

Things have changed alot. Children have a way of keeping us very humble. Yes, I promise the bathroom will be clean, the coffee will be warm and the treats will be plenty, but I can't promise that you won't see something like this...
(Christmas tree ornaments being dragged across the table by a lego)

This morning while I was putting our dinner in the crock pot, Coleman had several tree ornaments set up across the table and was using them as part of his train. I have to admit initially upon seeing all those things off of the tree, I wanted to immediately scold him and remind him not to touch, but then I reminded myself that his sisters and brothers had been given this exact freedom during their toddler years and that the tree has always been decorated by the kids and most of the ornaments were things they could touch and look at. And guess what, it is my home and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

And it is only nine in the morning...

  • I woke up late this morning and missed my morning quiet time.
  • The house was cold so I was tempted to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep.
  • I made cinnamon rolls and burnt my thumb on a hot roll complete with a blister and all. ouch!
  • Each of my children needed me to write a check (1 for milk, 2 for lunch, and 1 for a SAT testing fee) so that equals four checks all before 8am.
  • While getting my two year old (who is working on potty training)dressed this morning he had an accident while sitting on our bed. So, today I am washing all our bedding even though I had no plans too.
  • There are four other loads of laundry waiting to be washed.
  • I am out of coffee
  • My thumb still hurts alot!

I need to go and start over from the beginning. Yesterday our kids had a two hour delay in starting school due to the snow and ice we received over the weekend. Maybe I'll take one of those today.